10 Red Flags That You’re A Placeholder Girlfriend—I Know From Experience

At the start of a new relationship, you’re probably hoping that it could go the distance. However, as optimistic as you might be, the guy might not be on the same page and you could be just a placeholder until something “better” comes along. I learned this firsthand—and now you can learn from my mistakes.

  1. He agrees with everything you say. I was dating this guy and I enjoyed the initial stages of our relationship. I found that we agreed on almost everything, had similar interests, and everything was bliss. I then noticed that when it seemed like we had differing opinions on things, he would quickly change his opinion to agree with what I was saying. I used to think this was sweet before I realized that he was avoiding conflict because he didn’t care enough to want to assert his opinion or to share who he was with me.
  2. He doesn’t ask about your life. When we started dating, I’d volunteer information about my life and I used to think he was a great listener. With time, however, I realized what he was doing was using conversation fillers like, “Oh, that happened?” or, “Really?” but he wasn’t interested in what I was saying because he would not ask further questions. I initially thought it was because he was taking things slow, but I now get that he genuinely didn’t care.
  3. He doesn’t share much about his own life. When I asked about his life, he was usually very brief and would try and shift the conversation back to us talking about me. With time, I realized that I didn’t know much about the kind of person he was. I only knew about the bare minimum: his age, his job, and some of his hobbies but not much about his personal life.
  4. He never talks about the future. When I mentioned doing things in the future like going away on trips or attending events together, he was always noncommittal and would say something like, “We’ll see.” I’d talk about how our relationship would be if we stayed together for a long time and the kind of family we could have but those conversations were all one-sided.
  5. He mostly hangs out with you for sex. We mostly hung out at my place after work or on the weekends. We’d have sex, cuddle, watch movies, and order takeout. As romantic as this seemed in the beginning, I realized that he wasn’t into doing much else. I used to feel smitten when he told me he missed me and wanted to stay in… until I realized that was all he wanted to do.
  6. He doesn’t do friend hangouts with you. When I asked him to come out with me and my friends or asked if I could hang out with his, he always found some lame excuse to say no. He’d say he just wanted me to have fun with the girls and not spoil our fun or claim that he was having a guys’ night. I now realize this was his way of not getting too invested in the relationship by not getting our friends involved.
  7. He doesn’t want to share the relationship online. I understand that some people would prefer to keep their romantic lives private, so I didn’t think much of it when my boyfriend said we shouldn’t share images of us online. What angered me was when I found out how open he was on social media. He used to put up pictures of him and his ex-girlfriends and even share images of him and his friends when they were out and about. When I confronted him about this, he said it was a new change he was trying with his relationships to avoid drama. In other words, he didn’t need any social media evidence that we ever existed because he wasn’t planning on keeping our relationship going for that long.
  8. You can’t hang out with him anytime you want. There were plenty of times that I tried to meet him spontaneously at his house, after work, or when he was out with his friends, but he always said it wasn’t a good time. Unless we’d previously arranged to do something together in advance, he avoided spontaneous hangouts like the plague.
  9. It seems too good to be true. When I first met my ex, he seemed perfect. He listened to me talk, offered to come over to my place to spend time with me, agreed to do anything I wanted and always flattered me. I was so smitten that I ignored the many red flags that came up. In hindsight, I should have seen that I was more into the relationship than he was and I was nothing more than a placeholder. Don’t make the same mistakes I did.
Hannah is a twenty-something-year-old freelance writer, obsessed with reality TV, and all things sweet.